Articles/Essays From Pagans
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
Hearing The Music And Dancing The Dance
A Tale of the Wood
June 9th. 2013 ...
The Nature of Sacrifice
The Magick of Buildings
Start your own Pagan Church in Canada - A Detailed Guide
June 2nd. 2013 ...
Maiden, Mother, Who?! (A Discussion of the Triple Goddess)
Gods Who Live In My House
Why the 'Redneck Pagan'?
Among the Greenwod - An Interview with Raven Grimassi
May 26th. 2013 ...
So You Think You've Found a Teacher...
Learning To Live Your Own Life
Raising Personal Magickal Energy for Spellwork
Casting The Wiccan Circle
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Defining the Pagan
Article ID: 13006
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: December 14th. 2008
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Being relatively new to the Pagan community, I have encountered many questions, most of which I’ve been able to answer on my own using various methods, i.e. books, web, etc. I have no “proper” label, as in I’m not specifically Wiccan or Druid, etc. I usually just tell people when they ask that I’m simply Pagan, not Eclectic or any other specific title, just plain old, generic Pagan.
My belief system stems from a sense of right that I feel in regard to seeing the Deity as feminine as opposed to masculine. The idea that it is older than Christianity and more wide spread across the world is somehow comforting to me. I feel drawn to nature and the rhythms of the Earth because I was raised so far in the country.
Having been raised as a devout Catholic in a southern home, it took me years to see and embrace what I now practice as openly as I can. I use the term practice loosely (I will expound on that in a bit) . Although Pagan ideas were always a part of me, I embraced this idea and path openly 4 years ago. Being sent to Kuwait for the onslaught of what I believe to be the 8th crusade did a lot to force my eyes open and accept that freedom to worship as one chooses is a personal endeavor that should not be hampered by anything other than ones own mind.
My mother was the first person to ever hand me the idea of Fairies, elves and the like, my dad collected unicorn bookmarks, my aunt showed me my first set of runes, and my grandmother……bless her soul, she was a fantastic, superstitious, old school remedy user from way back.
I was raised deep in the country on a dirt road, so I developed a deep-seated appreciation for Mother Nature as a child. All of these things made a great foundation for my current belief system. However, as nice as it all sounds, I was still brought up in a fairly strict Catholic family. I discovered that I loved the ritual of mass, and for years after I moved out of my parent’s home, I continued to go on my own. As I grew and as my faith grew, I began to slowly move away from the Christian faith and into my own.
Moving into that faith is not as easy as it sounds… (Here comes the “practice” part) I live in South Louisiana. Probably the most Catholic region I’ve ever seen in the US, and of course it is in the Bible belt, so those who are not Catholic are some form of Christian. Of course there is a scattering of Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and various others but finding the Pagan community down here is not a simple task.
I don’t know anyone personally in the covens that do exist in my town so I am reluctant to ask to join them even for a Samhain celebration. I am also reluctant simply because I’m not Wiccan. I keep the sabbats/esbats as I can although that is something I have to work at, simply because I have a hard time knowing what to do….if that makes sense. I’ve not been taught or shown any ritual, and coming up with my own is somewhat difficult for me.
In my circle of friends here I have one other friend that believes as I do, our friends range from Anti-Theists, to Christian, to even a Hindu. I don’t have a definition of my belief system I just know what I feel and believe to be true for myself. I’ve never been to a circle, I’ve never worn robes, and I don’t wear a pentacle. I do however, wear a pendant with the image of Bridget laying gracefully in a moon, as well as a talisman of Mercury pendant because I am Gemini.
And as far as being “out of the broom closet”, I am for the most part. The only people with whom I’ve not discussed my religious change are my in-laws. It would devastate my mother in law and I don’t want to put her through that. Not that she believes that Catholicism is the be-all/end-all but, she is very emphatic about keeping Cajun tradition, and part of that is the church.
I take a very historic view on my faith and belief system. I seek as many facts as I can get, and pray the only way I know how. I’ve never cast a spell (that I know of) . I’ve never invoked anyone (that I know of) and I don’t have an alter set up—mainly because I have nowhere to put one right now. I do try to keep up with my astrology and read my Tarot as often as I feel the need. I pay attention to my intuition as it’s always gotten me through, and I love my aromatherapy. I have a decent knowledge of herbs and oils, and strongly prefer homeopathy and natural medicine to the mainstream. Basically I do what I can with what I’ve got.
Which brings me to my questions. I understand that being Wiccan or Pagan of most sorts involves defending and loving Mother Nature and our environment as much as possible. But does it make me a bad Pagan or even a “fluff bunny” because I don’t recycle? Or because I approve of hunting so long as the game is used as entirely as possible for food, etc.?
I don’t consider myself very conservative or liberal politically, although I do tend toward the conservative for most issues. I’m not particularly fond of politics period and I don’t understand what politics has to do with faith. Now, I do understand that certain peoples fight for certain freedoms and ideas, and I respect that. I just don’t get why one would need to be an activist in order to be properly Pagan. Perhaps these are just personal fears of acceptance that I wouldn’t be taken seriously should I ever join a group for circle or simply a discussion.
In a world of neat little labels, boxes, and definitions, would I be considered a faithful practitioner or just a wanna be?
Blessed Be ;-)
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
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